Stand in the Gap

Genesis 18:32 “And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.”

The fire that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah that day could be seen for miles; much like the mushroom cloud that rose over Hiroshima. It was a devastating judgment. Thousands died instantly. But before it happened, God came to Abraham and told him of the coming judgment. Abraham responded by pleading for the life of Lot and his family – which would have been ten people.

Four people escaped and only three survived. Lot and his wife and their two youngest daughters were literally dragged out of the city by the angels who had come to warn them of the coming judgment. The heart of Lot’s wife was revealed when she looked back after being strictly warned not to and was instantly turned into a pillar of salt. There was no good that came out of this scenario. Lot was made to get drunk by his daughters who both conceived children by their father.

Moab and Ammon, Lot’s grandchildren, grew to become constant enemies of Israel. And to think that this was all because Lot did not seek God’s counsel where to go after he separated from Abraham that day. I’m sure that is not the heritage or legacy Lot intended to have when he decided to follow Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees.

All of us are good at being armchair critics to situations and circumstances not belonging to us. We give great counsel to those who seemingly made bad decisions regarding their lives – but what of our bad decisions? If we were to be honest, many of us would have loved to have had an intercessor; one who would plead God to withhold His hand of judgment so that they could walk alongside us to steer us back to God.

The selfishness of my own heart is revealed when I desire the fire fall on someone’s bad decision and beg for mercy on my own. If we are to have the love of Christ, then His example would be the standard by which we should follow.

Jesus Christ championed the cause for the poor, the downtrodden, the lame, the halt and the blind, deaf and dumb. He reached out to the leper. He touched those whom society deemed as ‘castaways’. He didn’t just die for you and me – He died for ALL!

My  heart breaks when I consider how often I failed to warn those around me of the coming judgment and are now gone; possibly in Hell because of my failure. You and I will pass many people today; some of whom, need the gospel. Will we allow fear to grip us and silence us? Or will we, by faith, speak up and at the very least share what good thing God has done for us?

All of us love a story with a good ending – what better one than to tell of our arrival in Heaven because Christ saved us? The work of interceding on behalf of someone takes compassion – a mixture of passion and sorrow – for that person. When you and I can see the coming judgment or destruction of their soul, we must take up the cause for them to go to God on their behalf.

To be able to tell someone their need of Christ and show them God’s provision for their soul takes faith and courage. Faith to believe that God will do what He said He will do and courage to look beyond possible rejection. Think of it… Whether they get saved or reject, we will have done what God commanded us to do – strictly warn them.

Intercession starts with compassion – passion and sorrow – for the object of our prayers. Continue in your intercession and it will turn into action. Would to God we would pray for each other to follow through in our prayers with the action needed on their behalf.

Might the world know better that we are Christians when we truly love one another?

 

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